SlotMusic is SanDisk's attempt to replace the CD as the brick-and-mortar media for music. Flash-memory cards, preloaded with music files, will be sold in stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. There aren't many other details yet, aside from a press release and the "Check back soon" SlotMusic.org site. Here's a primer on the format:
- SlotMusic cards will be SanDisk MicroSD cards preloaded with music, album art and other extras.
- Each card will be packaged with a USB sleeve, making plug-in to any computer theoretically no problem.
- The details in the announcement seem intentionally vague on whether the disk will be a one-on-one alternative to CD albums, or whether record labels will create bundles that take advantage of the cards' 1 GB capacity.
- MP3 will be the audio format, with rates as high as 320 kbps rather than the grainier 128 kbps most commonly used to share MP3s. (The 128 kbps rate was chosen as the target for MP3 audio quality back in the early '90s, when ISDN lines were the future.)
- No DRM! Seriously, none.
- The Big Four music labels — EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner — have signed up.
- So far, no details on the initial catalogue of music. "Check back soon for announcements" says the artists page at SlotMusic.org.
- It's gotta be annoying to the record execs involved that Slotmusic.com is owned by a defunct band called S.L.O.T.